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Was Dh nasty in saying this or just honest?

(57 Posts)
Doubtfuldaphne Mon 01-Sep-14 10:32:03

Dh had a friend over at the weekend and they'd been drinking. We were debating (heatedly) about ds's school work. I think he's fine, Dh thinks he should do better.
Dh said to me, "it's different for you as you had ds young and never had a career and have me to look you, ds will be the breadwinner of his house and needs to try harder"
I felt upset thinking that's how he sees me.
Aibu?

TattyDevine Mon 01-Sep-14 10:33:59

YANBU.

Particularly in front of a friend.

Little bit smug and patriarchal really.

And making assumptions about the cycle repeating itself.

MrsDavidBowie Mon 01-Sep-14 10:38:54

Dh has said this to me too

Doubtfuldaphne Mon 01-Sep-14 10:39:42

That's the word! Smug. Like he was better than me.

TalcumPowder Mon 01-Sep-14 10:45:24

Well, quite apart from the fact that he seems to see you as a leech on his largesse - and that it was a demeaning thing to say in front of someone else - he's unbelievably sexist if he thinks it's more important for your son to do well academically simply because he's male and will therefore inevitably end up being the breadwinner with a little woman without a career or education depending on him.

A revolting dinosaur attitude. Are you happy to have your husband pass on these attitudes to your son? And - more importantly - are you happy to be 100% financially dependent on this man, or do you want a career? If you have a daughter, will your husband take no interest in her academic work because the possession of a vagina means she's set for a future of financial dependence?

Eva50 Mon 01-Sep-14 10:46:19

YANBU. How does he know that ds will be the bread winner? How sexist for a start! Do you work? Would you be interested in having a career? You could earn your own bread and he could do all the things you do for him. It puts you in a better position if you get fed up with his smugness.

Eva50 Mon 01-Sep-14 10:47:13

Ah! Cross-post.

EmeraldLion Mon 01-Sep-14 10:57:17

Talcums post is setting the precedent for a stream of 'LTB's...be prepared.

The way it's worded is demeaning...but only you know your dh and the tone/context.

I kind of get his point, if it was worded differently. The odds are that, in a couple, the man will at some point, need to support the household with his wages. Even if the woman is usually the higher earner and it's only for the period of her maternity leave.

Dh has a similar attitude to our ds's...he wants them to graft, to learn, to get decent careers, to be able to support themselves and their future families if they have them.

That doesn't mean that he would view achievement in a dd as pointless fgs. He would encourage a dd to work as much as he does our ds's.

kentishgirl Mon 01-Sep-14 11:00:19

I suppose what he said was true in one way - that you had DS instead of a career (at this point in your life, who knows what direction you will go in future).

But the inference that girls' education doesn't matter, and boys' does, because he thinks all families follow the 'man works and is breadwinner/woman permanent SAHM' model is an old fashioned and sexist attitude. If you have a DD at some point, will he not care about her education? Would he find it hard to accept if DS never has kids, has kids and they both work, has kids and and he's a SAHD while mum supports them all...he has a very limited world view. And I'd find that annoying as hell!

Are you intending to SAH long term? Do you want to go back to work at some stage? Do you want to continue your education? Have you got career ambitions? Does he know any of this? How will he react if you do? What will happen if you end up earning more than him, will he be threatened by this?

Big talk needed here.

kentishgirl Mon 01-Sep-14 11:03:13

...but he was probably just talking like a twat because he was drunk and not thinking about it properly. (in case the LTB people pop up). It's something to talk about, and you might need to gently challenge some of his attitudes and get him thinking about it all.

TalcumPowder Mon 01-Sep-14 11:07:02

Could I point out that I expressed neither an opinion of the OP's DH, nor on whether she should leave him, merely pointed out that - based on what the OP actually reported - he seems to have a disturbingly antediluvian attitude to gender roles, being the breadwinner, and education?

RonaldMcDonald Mon 01-Sep-14 11:23:28

I think that this is what he thinks

How you feel about what he thinks is entirely up to you

You might think, well this is accurate and so perhaps my dh feels this is right
you might think, I wish I had worked harder in school and so dh is right
you might think, breadwinner? wtaf
you might think, my h is fuck nugget and I will brain him

grobagsforever Mon 01-Sep-14 11:28:07

I'd get myself back to work before your son learns your DHs attitude!

tittifilarious Mon 01-Sep-14 11:29:00

I find his attitude insulting. But I don't live with him, you do so you'll know best whether he has old fashioned & simplistic views or was a bit daft & pissed.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 01-Sep-14 11:37:18

Have you pointed out that your DS might be gay and might want to work as a dancer or in some other skilled but non-academic field? There are other possibilities than a 50s-style hetero-stereotype.

His projection of his attitudes onto his son is worrying and potentially very constraining to your DS's ambitions and to their relationship.

Your DH is clearly very happy with your domestic set-up though, as it meets his expectations and desires. Does he discourage you from developing your own ambitions at all?

Marmiteandjamislush Mon 01-Sep-14 11:38:53

Out of interest, where did your 'D'h get his time machine? I am a SAHP in essence with a very traditional set up according to some MNetters and I find his remarks offensive. Not only to you but your DS and his future partner. What if Ds wanted to be a SAHP? or was in a same sex relationship, who would be the 'breadwinner' then? What if his future wife earns a tonne in the city? In short he was nasty and belittling to your way of living.

seasavage Mon 01-Sep-14 11:50:30

It's not a good way to put it. He wants DC to maximise their academic potential as he believes that directly affects earning potential. He is also raising his son to expect yo be the main earner should he have a lifelong partner.
I, like many have a degree and don't earn a great deal. (So happen to think your DH is wrong on the first count BUT I do think children need to learn to put themselves and their best into their work for self respect).
It is statistically likely your DS will earn more than a future female partner especially if they have children.
You obviously feel let down by this statement. All primary carers if anything need better grasp of basic maths & English in order to break it down and teach it to DC. (Child academic strengths tend to follow a parents but it's not set in stone).

seasavage Mon 01-Sep-14 11:51:57

(Do I think he is misguided btw)

UncleT Mon 01-Sep-14 11:54:39

That sucks. YANBU.

RhiWrites Mon 01-Sep-14 12:53:32

Vile. He is being vile.

SallyMcgally Mon 01-Sep-14 12:56:12

He's not unreasonable to want your DS to do as well as possible; the rest of what he said is vile and stupid. I write as a woman and the only breadwinner in the family.

scallopsrgreat Mon 01-Sep-14 13:00:10

"'When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.'" Maya Angelou

sanfairyanne Mon 01-Sep-14 13:06:03

do you think your ds will want to be a sahd?
if he was comparing your son and daughter, i would say it was out of order. its still not great or diplomatic, but is it true?

OTheHugeManatee Mon 01-Sep-14 13:11:16

I think it was a tactless thing to say in front of someone else. But strictly speaking he is just commenting on your different perspectives.

For you, academic achievement has been less important as you have achieved in other ways; for him, qualifications have been essential as he has used them to improve his earning prospects, thereby supporting you in your work. Thus it's understandable that you might set less stock by academic achievement than him.

I also think that, while it's true that there are more men who SAH than there once were, the general expectation is still that men will work. Indeed it often seems to me to be the case (on MN too) that women expect to have the choice (SAHM, PT, WOHM) whereas men are always expected to work FT and even looked down upon if they don't.

In that context I can absolutely understand your DH's firm belief that your DS should maximise his earning potential. It doesn't sound like he phrased it particularly gently and it wasn't a courteous thing to say in front of a friend but I can see where he is coming from.

antarctic Mon 01-Sep-14 13:21:27

I agree with OTheHugeManatee.

It would be different if your DH had said or implied that he is a better, more valuable person than you because of his big important job. But what he actually said (not very tactfully) is that good educational results have not been as essential in your life as in his, and that he believes this has an impact on your hopes and expectations for DS (in a purely academic sense) compared to his. Which sounds like it may be true?

He's not necessarily being sexist either IMO. If you have a DD he may well have higher academic expectations of her than you do, again because of his own experience and priorities.

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